Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Switches to Green Money Bags

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) saw that it could improve the environment when it started issuing its customers with the biodegradable money bags in May.

The bags are just as effective at holding cash, but they can totally degrade within 18 months, rather than the 400 years ordinary plastic bags may last, Rose Miller, Manager of the Mail & Courier Service Unit at JNBS states. The Society is the only financial institution in Jamaica to have made this transition.

“Using bio-degradable money bags presented an opportunity to make a positive difference to Jamaica,” Mrs. Miller said. “Once we became aware that the new bags were available, we switched immediately.”

Biodegradable bank bags

Standard bank deposit bags are made of low density polyethylene plastic. The new bags have oxo-biodegradable additives incorporated during their manufacture, which allows microbes to break down the plastic.

Rose Miller, Manager, Mail & Courier Service Unit, Jamaica National Building Society, holds new biodegradable bank bag.

“They cost slightly more than the regular bank bags,” Mrs. Miller stated. “As part of our environmental and social commitment however, we found the added cost to be acceptable.”

There are many positives associated with the oxo-bio plastic bag and its effects on the environment, says Donna Deidrick, Managing Director of D’Marick & Morgan Ltd., the downtown Kingston based distributor for the new plastics. She explained that the bags will disintegrate within two to five years of disposal, but the self-destructive properties are accelerated by stress, light and if used to litter, can be destroyed within months due to exposure.

Plastic has gained popular over the years as it is lightweight, flexible, strong, durable, heat sealable, impervious to moisture, reusable and recyclable, Mrs. Deidrick said. She explained that these properties can become negatives when attempting to dispose of the product.

Conventional plastic often blocks drains and add to the accumulation of garbage over a prolonged period, thus becoming a common environmental plague, Mrs. Diedrick stated. “Oxo-bio plastic reduces the persistence of plastic waste, can be re-used and is recyclable.”

Mrs. Miller says that she was especially impressed when she learned that the residue from the degraded bags, is non-toxic, consisting of water, bio-mass and carbon dioxide.”This is one successful element in our thrust to make Jamaica National a fully green organisation.”

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